Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, last year collected some N5.320 trillion worth of tax revenue, according to a disclosure made by the agency’s Chairman, Mr Babatunde Fowler.
Mr Fowler made this disclosure yesterday in Lagos during a FIRS stakeholders’ retreat. According to him, the agency had actually generated the total sum of N5 trillion by the middle of December last year, with the hopes of rounding off the accounts for the year 2018 at N5.3 trillion.
If this happens, which is most likely, it would be the highest amount ever generated by the tax agency during a single year period since it was created. The closest amount to this would be the 2012 record of N5.07 trillion.
Mr Fowler also attributed various reforms and new efficient models in the tax collection process as the reason for the recorded results.
Meanwhile, comparing last year’s performance with 2017, Mr Fowler noted that it was a difference of N1.292 trillion.
“In actual figures, in 2016, we collected N3.3 trillion, 2017 was N4.027 trillion and in 2018, we realised N5.320 trillion. We are also quite aware that our focus has to be on non-oil revenue. And in the past three years, when you look at the percentages in terms of contribution of oil tax revenue, in 2015 non-oil contribution to tax revenue accounted for 65 per cent, in 2017 it was 62.5 per cent and in 2018 it was 53.62 per cent.
“So, certainly, our non-oil tax revenue is growing in absolute figures, from 2016 to 2018. In 2016 it was N2.149 trillion, in 2017 it was N2.5 trillion and in 2018 N2.85 trillion. That does not mean we have left behind the oil tax revenue; it has improved from N1.5 trillion in 2016 to N1.52 trillion to N2. 467 trillion in 2018.”
In the meantime, the Federal Government has set a target of N8 trillion for the New Year, Mr Fowler disclosed. Part of the money generated by the agency in 2019 would be used to fund the budget.
Recall that the Federal Government had introduced the Voluntary Assets Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) with the aim of encouraging Nigerians to voluntarily declare their income/assets as well as pay taxes accordingly. Interestingly, the scheme achieved the set objective.
FGN Free Meter Program and getting power to the people
Without effective penalties for erring DisCos and consumers, progress may still remain very slow.
According to news reports, the Minister of Power, Mamman Saleh on Wednesday said the distribution of the four million free electricity prepaid meters pledged by the Central Bank of Nigeria would soon begin across the country.
According to him, the government is wrapping up the distribution of its initial one million meters, which he labelled phase zero, and would soon begin the distribution of the four million sponsored by CBN, which he tagged phase two. He also noted that the Federal Executive Council approved N3bn for the execution of six major electricity projects in the country to upgrade Nigeria’s electricity facilities and improve power supply across the country.
Ineffective metering remains a major drawback to the success of power sector reforms in Nigeria. While some consumers avoid paying for power consumed through meter bypass, some other consumers are made to pay for what they have not consumed through estimated billing by DisCos.
DisCos have been largely unsuccessful with metering their customers.
As far as inadequate metering is concerned, DisCos over time, have used this situation to their advantage via estimated billings. It appears that fully metering customers are currently being viewed as a disincentive, given that estimated bills can easily be manipulated.
According to a report by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), only 4,234,759 (40.27%) of the total customer population of 10,516,090 were metered as of 30 June 2020. Clearly, this validates the widely held view that there are a wide number of customers on estimated billing which gives room for illegal connection to the networks and in turn corrupt practices. NERC further revealed that only three out of 11 Electricity Distribution Companies in the country had metered more than 50% of electricity customers under their coverage areas as of June 2020.
Effective metering in our view is one step ahead in solving the myriad of problems embattling the Nigerian power sector. Though supposed to be unpaid for, many customers in a bid to avoid the bureaucracy associated with getting meters have paid to get their own meters. We believe the provision of meters to all end-use customers will go a long way in ameliorating the liquidity squeeze in the power sector whilst also providing cashflow to the DisCos for investment in equipment needed to evacuate unused electricity to consumers nationwide.
We laud the FG’s efforts at distributing meters freely to end-users, but we note that without effective penalties for erring DisCos and consumers, progress may still remain very slow.
CSL Stockbrokers Limited, Lagos (CSLS) is a wholly owned subsidiary of FCMB Group Plc and is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria. CSLS is a member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Covid-19: WHO approves China’s Sinopharm vaccine
WHO has announced the approval of China’s Sinopharm vaccine for Covid-19 vaccination.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced the approval of China’s Sinopharm vaccine for Covid-19 vaccination. The vaccine is reported to have 79% efficacy against covid.
This was disclosed today in a report by Reuters. The vaccine would also be the second Chinese-made vaccine after Sinovac vaccine and would be the first developed outside Europe and North America to receive WHO accreditation.
“This expands the list of COVID-19 vaccines that COVAX can buy, and gives countries confidence to expedite their own regulatory approval, and to import and administer a vaccine,” WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
The WHO added that the easy storage requirements make it highly suitable for low-resource settings.
“Its easy storage requirements make it highly suitable for low-resource settings,” a WHO statement said while also disclosing that the vaccine has been approved for people above the age of 18 to receive two shots.
“On the basis of all available evidence, WHO recommends the vaccine for adults 18 years and older, in a two-dose schedule with a spacing of three to four weeks,” the statement added.
The vaccine was created by Beijing Biological Products Institute, a subsidiary of Sinopharm subsidiary China National Biotec Group, with an efficacy of 79% for all age groups.
The WHO however, admitted that few older adults (over 60 years) were enrolled in clinical trials, so efficacy could not be estimated in this age group.
In case you missed it
The quest for vaccine efficiency got a major boost earlier this week as Nairametrics reported that the United States government announced that it supports the waiver of Intellectual Property Protections on Covid-19 vaccine development, in a bid to boost the fight against the pandemic, and says it will participate in the Okonjo-Iweala-led WTO negotiation to make it happen.
Nairametrics | Company Earnings
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- Afromedia Plc reports a loss after tax of N27.3 million in Q1 2021.